Science and Technology

Light and strong steel for cars

| Updated on: Nov 07, 2021
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IIT-Madras team develops superior-grade steel alloy

Since the fuel consumption of a vehicle depends on its weight, scientists are constantly trying to develop alloys that are lightweight, yet strong.

Prof Subramanya Sarma Vadlamani, Department of Metallurgical and Materials Engineering, IIT Madras, and his team have developed such a metal alloy.

They mixed manganese, carbon, aluminium, silicon, nickel and niobium with steel in a particular ratio. Then they subjected the alloy to melting and thermo-mechanical processing, to produce ultra-fine grains.

The team analysed the various properties of this newly developed steel. They found that the steel had a yield strength of around 720 MPa — the amount of stress it can sustain before becoming deformed or changing its shape.

The steel had a tensile strength of around 1,350 MPa, which means it can withstand 1,350 MPa of stress before fracturing.

The steel was found to stretch or elongate around 26 per cent at the maximum stress.

These attributes, in combination, make the developed steel much superior to the similar grades of steel that have been reported earlier.

When coated with zinc, this alloy becomes corrosion-resistant.

The team plans to engage with steel and auto industries for the commercial use of their research results.

Published on November 07, 2021

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